Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Imperfect Knitting

I was upset to discover that the odd balls of cotton ease I am using for the cabled tank come from two different dye lots. I wondered if I should have ripped back and alternated the two dye lots for a few inches to blend them together. But, if it took me several inches to discover the slight color difference, then why bother ripping out 3 inches of work? Still, I pondered and stewed.

Serendipitously, I took Iris to the bookstore and saw Dan Ho's latest book. (Who is Dan Ho? Read the Passionate Imperfectionist entry at the bottom of Stuff.) I dimly recall a Kawabata novel in which two characters obsess over a tiny flaw in a raku teacup and the novel did not have a happy ending. I decided to embrace imperfection. The two dye lots have personal significance to me; seeing them makes me smile. Therefore, I will act like I meant it all along and mix the two dye lots willy-nilly.

Years ago, I made the chic little French sweater called "Kate" from a Phildar pattern. It came out a little bit too tight because I switched from 4.5 to 4.25 mm diameter needles after swatching, but forgot to add a few extra stitches to compensate. The sweater fit a lanky 12-year-old very well. Her mother said it was not appropriate for her daughter to accept a hand knit sweater from someone she had just met. She told me to put the sweater away until it fits Iris.

Kate is the more muted of the two shades of blue. You can read more about Kate at Fiber Musings. (In blog prehistory, I used to post my knitting notes on my sister's blog.) Rock Chick co-hosted a Kate-along. However, the Kate-along blog appears to have been deleted. I linked instead to Rock Chick's announcement about the KAL and her sweater.

The brighter of the two blues are left over from one of Iris' outgrown sweaters. I took a picture before giving it away to her younger cousin. However, you can see an adorable picture of Iris in this sweater along with my notes in my sister's blog archive.

Iris discovered surfing the web quite early. I was browsing the Berroco free patterns website for toddler sweaters when Iris fell in love with Cutie Patootie (pattern link). I am not sure which she loved more, the sweater or saying Cutie Patootie. She said she wanted the sweater just like that; only she wanted it to be blue, white and gold. Iris was quite the impatient taskmaster and CP was finished in double time (for me).

We trekked down to the San Diego area for the third time in a single month. Of course, we went to JamRoc101 for the whole red snapper. Chef Garcia posed with the snapper for a photo op.

Then we kissed her grandparents, aunt and cousin goodbye and headed north. Last weekend, Iris was bereft that we missed the Oceanside Art Museum, arriving 15 minutes after closing. (OAM is the home of Visions, a fantastic biennial juried art quilt show.) We missed Visions, which closed in January 2007. We did see some interesting California contemporary sculptures at OAM.

We also enjoyed outdoor art.

We celebrated Memorial day by shopping at IKEA and hanging cabinets in the home office area. Mark stocked up on Swedish foods while I shopped. (His parents met while they were both living in Sweden; his family is fond of foods I won't touch, even though I am an adventurous eater.)

On the home from IKEA, we stopped at Men-Bei ramen house in the Mitsuwa Marketplace center (conveniently located midway between Honda and Toyota USA HQs) in Torrance. I find it slightly embarrassing (but a big relief) to go to restaurants with Iris now that she reads so much. She will read through meals rather than converse with us.

Fortunately, that is normal at Men-Bei. Iris is posing in front of one of three bookcases full of Japanese manga books. Patrons are welcome to help themselves to reading material while they are in the restaurant. In about 2/3 of the tables, patrons devour the manga with their ramen rather than speak to their companions. See?

Wow, we visited Jamaica, Sweden and Japan in one weekend, within 100 miles of our home. Globalization has a positive side.

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